Thinking of buying a motion activated Spy Watch Camera?

You’ll probably want to know the maximum motion detection range before you purchase.

Based on my research on amazon and other spy camera websites, the motion detection range is between 6-10 metres on most Spy Cameras.

Of course, this varies according to the device and make / model.

How Motion Activated Spy Cameras Work

When you set the motion detection active, the spy camera will sit in standby.

It is now ready to record when it senses any movement within its effective range (6-10 metres).

When the camera detects movement within its range, it immediately begins recording.

Typically the spy camera records for 2-3 minutes after motion activation. Then, it checks if there is still movement.

motion detection spy camera turning on

The camera is activated only when it senses movement

If there is no movement, the Spy Camera records the 2-3 minutes of footage.

It then goes back into standby, ready for the next moving object.

If it detects there is still movement, the video will continue recording until no more movement is detected.

How I worked out the average motion detection range

I trawled through 10 example Amazon products and other spycam websites to get the average distance of motion detection.

I kept noticing a motion detection range of between 6-10 metres on the customer questions and answers.

Here are some examples:

Question : Please indicate what is the maximum distance the camera can detect movement and activate.

Answer: It is 6 m.

spy camera how far across room does it detect motion

Question : How far across the room can the camera detect motion?
Answer: 10 M

Whilst this motion detection range is not definitive, it does seem about average.

Battery Life Of Motion Activated Spy Cameras

You’re probably wondering how long the battery will last on motion activated Spy Cameras.

If you were to manually turn on the Spy Camera and leave it running, the average battery life is approximately 1 hour 10 minutes.

I’ve researched this on Spy Camera youtube videos, and tested for myself using a Spy Watch camera.

This seems to be the average.

However as we have seen, when you use motion detection mode the camera only turns on when it detects movement.

This extends the battery life dramatically because the camera is recording in 3-5 minute increments.

Therefore it is perfectly possible to leave the camera on motion detection for 24 hours continuously or overnight.

Assuming it does not record continuously, it will still have power after this period.

Problems With Motion Activated Cameras

Based on my research, a common problem with motion activated cameras is that people cannot work out how to reset how the camera records.

For example, they get stuck on recording motion activation only (and cannot record continuously) using the on / off button.

For example:

common problems motion activated spy cameras

A Youtuber facing problems with his motion activated Spy Camera

The comment underneath is a reasonable solution. You could try a factory reset by pressing the reset button, then try recording again.

How Long Does It Take To Charge Motion Activated Spy Cameras?

This is another common question with these kinds of Spy Cameras. Fortunately, I’ve tested this extensively.

The instructions might say to charge for 24 hours, but this is not necessary.

Usually a 3 hour charge will completely charge the battery.

Spy cameras typically display a different light when charging. For example, flashing blue when charging and red when fully charged.

See my demonstration video below to see how to properly charge your spy camera:

NOTE: I conducted the test using a Spy Watch camera, but the principle is the same with all spy cameras.

Field Of View Of Motion Activated Cameras

The effective range of motion detection is very important when you consider purchasing a motion activated camera.

However, it’s not the only factor you need to consider.

Another is the field of vision. This basically describes how “wide” the cameras view is, rather like peripheral vision in humans.

The wider the field of vision, the better.

field of view example

Good security cameras have a field of vision of about 130 degrees. So try to get a camera within your budget as close to this limit as possible.

Types Of Motion Detection Spy Cameras

Motion activated spy cameras come in all shapes and sizes.

The idea is to be fully covert, so that no one would suspect they are being recorded.

Here’s just a few of the types of motion activated spy cameras on the market:

motion activated spy camera 1

This is a great example of a motion detection camera. No one would ever suspect there is a tiny pinhole camera which is activated on movement.

You could put this camera strategically on a far wall and record an entire room without anyone ever suspecting.

This coat hanger spy camera is great for hallways or bedrooms. You could camoflage the camera by hanging a coat on the hanger to make it even more stealthy.

This kind of covert camera fixes to the wall with adhesive tape of specialist screws.

This is typically used as a nanny camera. It looks like an innocuous PC peripheral, so no one would suspect it contains a hidden pinhole camera.


Before you buy a motion activated Spy Camera, you’ll need to know it’s fit for purpose.

Because it’s hard to find the average motion detection effective range online, use betwen 6-10 metres as a rough guide.

Based on this information you’ll be able to choose the right motion activated Spy Camera that fits your needs.

Happy Spying!